Benedict Cumberbatch was called a ‘vain & ignorant liberal luvvie’ by Tory politico


Several months ago, Benedict Cumberbatch got on stage at the Barbican Theatre after a performance of Hamlet and he said “f—k the politicians.” Benedict had been making speeches post-performance for weeks, trying to gather donations for the ongoing refugee crisis. On one particular night though, Benedict slammed the political system – especially the British political system – that was not dealing properly and compassionately with refugees. Bendy got a pushback from political and entertainment commentators, but at his CBE ceremony just a few weeks later, he insisted that he’ll always speak his mind. Some Tories wish Benedict – and other politically active celebrities – would just STAHP.

Nick Timothy, former special adviser to Home Secretary Theresa May, wrote an article imploring “vain and ignorant liberal luvvies” to take a “vow of silence” in 2016. Outspoken celebrities such as Benedict Cumberbatch, George Clooney, Katie Hopkins and Charlotte Church have been condemned in a new article by a former special adviser to the Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May.

Cumberbatch, 39, famously used his starring role in ‘Hamlet’ at the Barbican to raise money and awareness of the Syrian refugee crisis earlier this year, at one point proclaiming “f*** the politicians”.

However, former Conservative employee and insider Nick Timothy, now the director of the New Schools Network, wrote an article for Conservative Home on Tuesday (December 29th) lambasting the actor. “What on Earth does Cumberbatch think qualifies him to opine so forcefully on every political matter of the day, from spending cuts to counter-terrorism policy?”

Timothy also named Katie Hopkins and Paul O’Grady as being among “those celebrities who, every time an election comes round, threaten to leave the country in the event of one party winning or another.”

Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof also came in for a panning, asking why he hadn’t provided proof that he’d housed refugees in his home despite loudly proclaiming that he would do so. He also took aim at Welsh singer Charlotte Church, suggesting that she was hypocritical and did not believe in elections.

As a parting shot, Timothy wrote: “If I had a wish for 2016, it would be that these pompous, hypocritical, self-obsessed political celebrities would take a vow of silence. If that proves impossible, surely it is time for our politicians and the media to stop humouring these vain and ignorant liberal luvvies.”

“Doing so would be good not just for my sanity but the standard of political debate in this country – which might at last reflect the full complexity of the problems we face, rather than whatever happens to come across the half-witted mind of a public school-educated actor.”

[From Contact Music]

Sigh… I’ve said this before, but even I cringe sometimes when George Clooney or Benedict Cumberbatch or whichever liberal actor starts going on and on about political stuff. It’s not that I disagree with their political views, and it’s not like I even think it’s a bad idea to use one’s celebrity to espouse political opinions. It’s just that it’s often painfully obvious that those actors are used to the bubble of Hollywood/the acting world and they’re often painfully unaware with how out-of-touch they do sound. But the answer isn’t “telling politically liberal actors to STFU.” The answer might be “encouraging politically liberal actors to practice what they preach, to educate themselves and to not say words into a vacuum.”

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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109 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch was called a ‘vain & ignorant liberal luvvie’ by Tory politico”

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  1. what'sup says:

    Mwahaha that must kill Cumberbatch. To be mentioned in the same vein as Katie Hopkins.

    I do agree that he is self-obsessed in so many ways. Everything he does is to further his career. Which good on him. But at the same time, don’t shill that you aren’t that person when it does seem quite obvious that you are. Own it.

    • Fluff says:

      I honestly don’t believe he fundraised for refugees to further his career. He took a massive hit for it, and having seen his speech – he’s not a good enough actor to fake that passion.

    • J says:

      there’s a ton of other ways to boost your career without putting yourself out there to get dragged by conservative media tbqh

    • La La Land says:

      Kaiser: “Sigh… I’ve said this before, but even I cringe sometimes when George Clooney or Benedict Cumberbatch or whichever liberal actor starts going on and on about political stuff. It’s not that I disagree with their political views, and it’s not like I even think it’s a bad idea to use one’s celebrity to espouse political opinions. It’s just that it’s often painfully obvious that those actors are used to the bubble of Hollywood/the acting world and they’re often painfully unaware with how out-of-touch they do sound. But the answer isn’t “telling politically liberal actors to STFU.” The answer might be “encouraging politically liberal actors to practice what they preach, to educate themselves and to not say words into a vacuum.”

      Kaiser, I think this is one of the most poignant and spot on comments you’ve ever said about CumberIdontgetwhyhessofamousanyway. Not trying to offend you or anyone’s taste in him as an actor; I don’t think he’s that bad. But I really appreciated your posting this…+1000000

  2. Ally.M says:

    I don’t know much about BC but I do think everyone who lives in a democracy is entitled to speak out. The Tories can’t cope with the truth, they always respond with insults. Michael Sheen has been dragged through the coals by the UK Tory loving media this week, his words and message being taken out of context.

    • Sixer says:

      He committed the sin of saying something anti-establishment on Radio 4 Today, that bad, bad Michael Sheen. How very dare he! (Mr Sixer was cheering all day!)

      • Amelia says:

        I love Michael Sheen so much. All this weeks’ Radio 4 has been brilliant actually. Really enjoying the guest editors.

      • Betti says:

        Poor Michael Sheen you’d think he would have been safe with the Radio 4 listeners 🙁

      • Liberty says:

        I just know that I have tucked “you vain and ignorant luvvie” into my back pocket to use in event of a snark emergency.

      • Sixer says:

        Amelia – yes! Poor Nick Robinson has taken an anti-establishment bashing, hasn’t he? First Sheen, then Bradley Wiggins insisting on talking to Jeremy Corbyn. It’s all been rather joyful. I also liked Miriam on women.

      • Fluff says:

        Michael Sheen is wonderful and genuinely committed. I mean, all respect to Benedict because his passion for helping refugees feels real, but working for homeless youth in Wales which is one of Michael’s pet projects isn’t ‘hot’ or headline grabbing like refugees is. That takes real commitment.

      • hermia says:

        I love Michael Sheen and admire what he’s doing,

    • Anne tommy says:

      I would regard any attack on me by a Tory politico as a compliment. Actors are as entitled to speak their mind as anyone else. If the media choose to give them more publicity than they would the views of a non- celeb, that’s the media’s decision. I know who should STFU here and it’s not Bendy,or Bob or Charlotte or Michael.

    • jammypants says:

      I find pointing out hypocrisy totally fine, but wishing for them to be silenced? They’re citizens too no? Mind they are filthy rich, but that doesn’t stop them from having the right to speak their mind.

  3. Amelia says:

    I think Nick would be wise to follow his own advice.
    For me, since the general election and the exit of the Lib Dems, it’s been clear just how much damage limitation went on during the coalition.
    The Torys seem set on kicking the 99% further into the dirt.

  4. Sixer says:

    ‘But the answer isn’t “telling politically liberal actors to STFU.” The answer might be “encouraging politically liberal actors to practice what they preach, to educate themselves and to not say words into a vacuum.”’

    I love you, Kaiser. That is all.

    ETA: BTW – he’s just trying to deflect from another Tory politico’s racist comments from the 80s that have been making headlines here over the last couple of days, in which said Tory politico recommended refusing inner city regeneration funding after race riots on the basis that those nasty black people would just use such funds to “subsidise Rastafarian arts and crafts workshops” or the funds would end up in the “disco and drug trade”. The Tories needed some anti-liberal noise to deflect from that cos it was getting A LOT of coverage.

    • Snazzy says:

      I saw an article on that yesterday!! “Subsidise Rastafarian arts and crafts workshops” …? WTF?

    • lilacflowers says:

      So, deflect with something completely unrelated and invoke something that happened months ago to do so. Priceless. BC’s speechifying ended a while ago and he no longer has the nightly stage forum for his little rants but sure, drag him out to make a point so nobody pays attention to that racist guy over in the corner.

      As for educating themselves and not saying words in a vacuum, this applies to so many, many people. I actually don’t mind actors passing a bucket to collect for a charity at the end of a performance but just a simple “we’re collecting for _____, please be generous on your way out and thank you.” should suffice. Turning it into a separate performance , complete with poetry readings and political ranting, as BC did, was really more about calling attention to himself than to the issue. When I saw the NTLive broadcast, we couldn’t get out of our seats because people on either side were watching it and it was just a spectacle of “look at me being so good!” and completely unnecessary.

      • SloaneY says:

        Exactly this^

      • Bibi81 says:

        I saw his performance on NT Live and I also had to sit through his speech.
        What bothered me the most was that the whole thing was very disrespectful towards his collegues. It was all about me-me-me. We couldn’t even clap and cheer for the other actors and actresses, because we didn’t have the chance.

      • Farhi says:

        The NT live speech was about 30 sec. All he said was – if you care about the issue , please, donate and here is the web address. It was completely fine and proper.

        You were planning to clap and cheer after a recorded performance? People don’t normally do that as the actors are not there and can’t hear your appreciation or lack of it. I imagine there was clapping at the theater after the speech.

      • Bibi81 says:

        You have competely missed my point.
        Yes, WE (in the cinema) started actually clapping and cheering, even though the actors couldn’t have heard us.

        The point on the other hand is that were we sitting in the theatre, we couldn’t have done the same and express our gratitude to ALL the players, because Benedict came forward, made his speech and then THAT WAS IT. Not a second later, the actors were leaving the stage. And all because Benedict broke the cheering with his out-of-place speech. After that you cannot continue where it was broken, because the mood is lost.

        I understand that Benedict wanted to make sure his message is received. He had to make sure that the spectators were still sitting and not leaving. There is a time frame for that. But in doing so he sacrificied the possibility and time where we could have shown our appreciation for his FELLOW collegues, who are not as famous and as appreciated as he is. And he took this possibility from them. You can have another opinion of course, but I think it was disrespectful and above all SELFISH from him.

      • hermia says:

        I tried to get out of the Barbican before he made his little speech, but no way Jose. And yes, it felt long and unnecessary. As lilac and bibi said, he could have just said we (as in all the actors) are collecting for charity, etc. But he had to make it about himself, as usual.

    • Sixer says:

      Snazzy. I know! It’s cringe factor off the charts, isn’t it? And even though those remarks were made in the 80s, this particular guy is our Prime Minister’s main policy guru TODAY. Worrying, or what?

      Lilac. Quite. Classic whataboutery.

  5. LAK says:

    The issue with luvvies is that they tend to be one note and quite narrow in said note.

    Also, it’s generally meaningless platitudes that they don’t apply to their own lives. A case of ‘thank God it’s them instead of you.’

    If they followed through, I would be more surportive instead of rolling my eyes.

    Like Geldof did with the original Live Aid (though later editions became increasingly patronising and self congratulatory) or Glenda Jackson gave up being a celebrity and entered parliament or Crispin Bonham Carter (brother of Helen, better known as Mr BIngley in the famous Colin Firth ‘Pride & Prejudice’ adaptation) who also gave up budgeoning celebrity/ acting career to become a teacher at a state school

    • LAK says:


    • InvaderTak says:

      Crispin B-C is a teacher now? I knew Mr. Bingley was for me!

      What is a luvvie anyway?

    • Cee says:

      If he had donated one week’s worth of his salary for Hamlet, or even matched the donations by theatre goers, I would not say a word against him. But I agree with this Timothy – these actors usually just speak and preach and then do nothing. And don’t tell me that he is bringing the issue to light, this issue has been under the spotlight for months now, well before Benedict decided to tell people in the audience to donate money and to F the politicians. So yeah, his life, and the life of his wife and child, will not be affected by the refugees or anything remotely similar.

      ETA: When I say “don’t tell me” I didn’t mean you LAK, but those who will no doubt start telling everyone else that he is doing something and that something is speaking out.

      • LAK says:

        CEE: I understood what you meant vis a vis ‘you’. And I quite agree.

        Invadertak: a luvvie is a British actor, usually famous, and usually with a classical theatre background or experience who tends to affectation. There is usually a degree of self congratulation in there too.

        I wouldn’t call ALL british actors luvvies. To me someone like BC or Stephen Fry epitomises a luvvie whereas Daniel Day Lewis or Idris Alba or Tom Hardy are not.

        Some luvvies are either great or they’ve earned their luvvieness ie it suits them eg Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart.

        Others just make me eyeroll eg BC.

      • antipodean says:

        Dear LAK, your definition of luvvie/thessie is spot on. I like to err on the side of everyone being entitled to an opinion, and conversely as is often the case in British politics, everyone is entitled to slag them off accordingly. It is a time honoured system, along with democracy, and a free press. However, I feel I must draw the line when my beloved Stephen Fry is tossed in with the great unwashed. I know he is an enormous (literally and metaphorically) figure of fun, but I have always had a sneaking soft spot for him, in spite of ill advised marriages etc. He has always battled the black dog, but seems to rise triumphant and unapologetically every time. You have to admire the grit of the man. Plus he is wildly funny, and adundantly intelligent, my favourite mixture. His Lord Melchett is my top of the list ROTFL.

      • LAK says:

        Antipodean: several things

        1. I must confess I hold a soft spot for Stephen too, so I will remove him from the list of eye roll inducing luvvies. Perhaps group him with Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart. And continue to be baffled by that marriage.

        2. I think it’s great that we can slag off public figures of whatever ilk and industry. Long may we continue to do so.

      • Sixer says:

        I think that’s a perfect description of luvvie – in both senses, pejorative and complimentary.

      • spidey says:

        Cee – do you know that he hasn’t? See my post No.12.

      • SloaneY says:

        I think if he had we would have heard about. He’s not one to shy away from any kind of press, especially the kind that shows him as “such a wonderfully generous person”. He seems a stingy sort, and probably thinks his contribution is *bringing awareness*.

      • J says:

        a lot of celebs dont announce donations

        cumberbatch is 50/50 with his charity, 1/2 public, 1/2 private. he’s done a lot of stuff without fanfare that his Ott fans out about found later but was never in major media

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Cee, are you really so certain he hasn’t donated significantly? Are you hiss accountant?

      • hermia says:

        @J If it’s 50% private, how do you know about it??? I tell you how, because it’s not.

  6. Sochan says:

    LMAO. Great article. I hope that burns BC’s ego a bit. He’s become so pompous and insufferable.

  7. ell says:

    he’s so annoying, no matter what he does. i never liked him, ever. and his crazy stans make me dislike him even more.

    • Sochan says:

      2015 was the year I lost my final shreds of respect for him and have no longer have much interest in him as an actor. Celebrities just can’t seem to understand that they way they present themselves to the public — their words and actions — really do impact the way we view them when it comes to their acting. I don’t have to like every actor as a person, but sometimes it is hard to separate the two (actor/person) when they are arrogant, pompous, know-it-alls in public.

      • J says:

        they do, sochan. some care, some don’t. I’m more partial to the ones that don’t care. id rather see human traits, if that makes sense. i dont trust them otherwise

      • hermia says:

        I think BC cares about people’s opinion, but he’s so up his own ar*e, that he thinks everything he does and say will come up roses.

  8. Farhi says:

    It was on BBC yesterday that Isla Fisher and Sasha Cohen donated almost a million dollars to charities that help Syrian Refugees. I think these were the same ones Hamlet Barbican money went to – Save the Children and another charity. So luvvies are at least doing something. Some are more in your face than the others but it is the intention and the end result that matter. Celebrities can bring spotlight to an issue and politicians don’t like that.

    • Cee says:

      They donated their own money, they didn’t tell people to empty their pockets into a collecting bin. That’s a huge difference to me. You want to give money to charitices? Excellent. Donate your own money, organise something with your famous friends and donate all proceeds. BC does things for charity but in this case all he did was rant and go on a tirade, especially since not everyone in the audience might agree with what he says.

      • Farhi says:

        You don’t know if any of these other “luvvies” donate their own money too. It is not always reported. Not all their charity work is reported either. All we can see is their public campaigns, And those do help as well.
        Politicians are simply trying to redirect the heat they are rightfully getting elsewhere. And conservatives do love to trash luvvies. Politicians would prefer if the public didn’t criticize them ever especially celebrities who are going to be heard.

      • lilacflowers says:

        You yourself just said above that Isla Fisher and Sascha Cohen donated money. Are you now saying it was somebody else’s money, not their own?

      • Sixer says:

        The best example of that I’ve seen this year, Cee, is the award-winning author Patrick Ness. He kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign for Syrian refugees with some of his own money, then promised to match another £10k of his own money when donations reached £10k. Then other UK authors stepped in to match the next several £10ks of donations. Then Ness started cajoling the publishing houses and they matched £10ks. By the end, a week or so later, his fund had got to (goes to look it up!) £688k.

        It was all quite emotional, actually! And all done entirely via Twitter, which is a comment for the Kristen Stewart thread!

      • lilacflowers says:

        @Sixer, that’s really cool.

      • Cee says:

        @Fahri – I don’t know what a Luvvie is or even means, all I know is that some people talk a lot instead of doing something. Benedict does a lot for charity, but in this case he miscalculated and went on a tirade in front of an audience who bought expensive tickets to watch a Hamlet production. If he had added to his nightly monologues “I will donate this week’s salary” (a reported 10 thousand pounds!) or even “I will match what we collect tonight” I would not be talking against him. The way he said what he said, does not sit well with me.

        I’ve seen first hand the plight of the refugees, I do not need an actor to paint a picture for me. If he wants to help, then more kudos to him. Teresa May is still waiting for his call but he hasn’t come through with that either. Another instance of Bendy-over-the-top-talk.

      • greenmonster says:

        @Lilacflowers I think she (?) is just saying that we don’t always hear who is donating money. Isla Fisher and Sasha Cohen donated a lot money. BC might have given some of his money as well to charities, but we don’t know. People do give money and no one ever hears about it.

      • Cee says:

        @Sixer – that’s a great example of what BC could have done. He did crowdfund SunnyMarch’s first and only short, so he could have applied the same principle to raise money for the refugees.

        The only thing that bothers me about this whole thing is that a rich person (BC) contributes only by speaking and telling people (mostly not rich) to donate money without doing so himself. If he had donated his own money we would be reading about it from at least 10 articles from reputed sources.

      • Fluff says:

        I disagree. Ben and Sophie visited a children’s hospital over Christmas with zero publicity (the only reason it got out is because one of the mothers posted one comment about it online, and the stalker-stans found it – it was never in the press or anything). So evidently they do charity work privately without telling anyone about it.

        I’m certain he did donate – he’s donated large sums of money to other charities without telling anyone.

      • Cee says:

        @Fluff – they visited the Great Ormond St. Hospital as part of a charity run for the hospital. Other famous celebrities and their spouses attended as well. It was in the press.

        I will repeat, once again and hopefully for the last time, that Ben DOES A LOT FOR CHARITY. No one is disputing that. I am solely talking about his rant at the end of Hamlet’s performance.

    • Farhi says:

      Just to clarify as there seems to be confusion, BBC mentioned that Fisher and Cohen were specifically asked for permission about releasing their donation information. It is not the norm to release information about private donations. We don’t know how much of it happens and how much celebrities donate.

  9. Ollie says:

    It’s shocking that some politicians insult others and think it’s ok to tell people to shut up about politics just because their opinion differs. Celeb or milkman everyone has the right to speak up. In GB (and everywhere) you’ll find some very horrible eton-boy-politicians who think only they have the right to speak because the ‘little people’ aren’t educated and good enough.

    • Dara says:

      ^^^^ This.

      And as long as Mr. Timothy is making a list of people who should “take a vow of silence”, can we petition for him to be added? I don’t know who he is and don’t really care, but after reading his comments he sounds like a pretentious, self-important knob who has to resort to stereotypes and personal attacks to defend his own argument.

      If his article was an effort to “elevate the standard of political debate” he failed miserably and I find myself wishing for him to just take his own advice to sit down and shut up.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      +1. That’s democracy, politicos! Everyone gets a say!
      (Though celebrities of all political stripes have an awfully large megaphone with which they communicate a lot of half-baked, ill-conceived political nonsense. Do wish they’d educate themselves better first. With great power comes great responsibility, etc. etc.)

  10. Betti says:

    While everyone has the right to speak out, with regards to Bendy never a truer word said – he’s really getting on my last bitchy nerve. I have a lot more respect for those celebs that go out there and visit these places (camps etc..), using their celebrity to bring attention to a cause. All Bendy does is preach from the safety of his leafy Hampstead mansion.

    Success has turned him into a vain, arrogant, pretentious twat.The CBE is only going to make it worse.

    • LadyLoo says:

      On his CBE, I hope that people understand that these honors are:
      1) handed out by the government (not on the Queen’s personal say)
      2) lobbied for by the recipient’s organization or ‘people’ (in the case of BC)
      3) fairly meaningless. Thousands are handed out twice a year. I saw one handed out for services to trampolining. Yes, trampolining.

      That he was awarded one so young isn’t a mark of his talent or popularity, but his thirst.

      • Betti says:

        He got the CBE for services to drama and charity – and while he was very involved in charity work, particularly the Princes Trust (who i think lobbied on his behalf for the CBE) that seems to have fallen to the wayside in favour of his political speechifying. Granted he’s always been that way but I think during the run of Hamlet he took it a bit too far. As others have said he turned it into another ‘performance’ and it was something that was done every night toward the end of the run – again thats more to do with his ‘thirst’ than anything else. There is a place and time for such things, every night during a 3 month long theatre run where people have paid a premium to see a performance is not that place. They have come to escape for reality for a few hours and be entertained, not preached at by an overpaid actor.

    • Kate says:

      Unfortunately, the visiting camp ones often do more harm than good.

    • Fluff says:

      The thing with Ben’s CBE that made me lol was that it inspired my bae Bertie Carvel to make some comment about how he’d never accept an honour and he’d never call Ben ‘sir’ if the time ever came. They’re good mates so I don’t think it was meant as a jab, but I just bloody love it.

      But then Bertie>Ben always sorry.

      • hermia says:

        I love Bertie, didn’t know he said that and adore him now. He looks fantastic in a dress too.

  11. Madly says:

    I remember a celebrity peta supporter say that no good ever came from animal testing ever. The ignorance astounds.

    Also still remember Jessica Alba posting posters of sharks everywhere in support of the environment or something.

    I don’t mind actors giving their opinions, but I don’t really listen to them much as they don’t bother ever getting out of their spoiled comfy bubble to get educated on anything. BC seems to be the same way. His heart might be in the right place, but he has no head for reality.

    • Sochan says:

      And don’t forget Charlize Theron on national TV declaring that a gluten-free diet is nothing but a fad and “there is no science behind it”. NO, Charlize. There’s no science behind YOUR opinion, that’s the reality. Unfortunately, a lot of people believe that if a person is successful and wealthy then they must also be intelligent and knowledgeable. It’s just not true.

      • Bunnybun says:

        “Unfortunately, a lot of people believe that if a person is successful and wealthy then they must also be intelligent and knowledgeable. It’s just not true.”

        Case in point, Trump supporters.

      • Tina says:

        Agree, but there are gluten-free diets and there are anti-vaxxers. Advocating against vaccination is one of the most evil things one can do in this age.

      • Fluff says:

        To be fair, except in people with coeliac, there is no science behind gluten-free diets. For the most part gluten-free is a deeply unscientific fad (since most of the people following it aren’t coeliac, and most of the people writing about how gluten is evil aren’t referring to that).

      • Laura says:

        lmao WHAT? Unless you have a gluten allergy or celiac, there IS NO SCIENCE whatsoever that says gluten free is good for you.

  12. Fluff says:

    Nick Timothy is basically evil incarnate. Don’t praise him just because he’s kicking a celeb everyone’s a bit sick of.

  13. spidey says:

    If i had been in the theatre to see Hamlet and got a lecture from BC at the end I would have been p****d off, because that is not what I go to the theatre for.

    However…….. there is a case of damned if they do and damned if they don’t with famous people getting involved with charities. If an actor makes an appeal it probably does help raise a lot for the charity, but there will be plenty of folk who say why doesn’t he/she put their money where their mouths are without knowing whether they have done just that or not. But if an actor donates and it gets out, then people with still say it is only for the publicity or well he can afford to can’t he?

    • lilacflowers says:

      As I said above, there are ways to do it and ways not to do it. I’ve been at the theater many times when an actor, usually the lead in the production, announces that they are collecting for a charity, usually “Equity Cares About _________” so please contribute if so inclined, thank you” but that is usually the entire spiel. Brief and to the point and thank you and then the cast is at the doorways with buckets and thank yous. But I was subjected to BC’s speech at the end of the NTLive broadcast and found it to be way over the top, a great deal of “look at me”, and I was both annoyed at him and embarrassed for him.

    • LadyLoo says:

      ‘…if an actor donates and it gets out, then people with still say it is only for the publicity…’ I think this opinion depends on how it comes to light and the amount donated. Sacha Baron Cohen recently donated a huge sum (nearly a million GBP) to help vaccinate refugee children. It was announced by the charity and the sum was eye-watering. SBC hasn’t issued a statement and likely isn’t going to – he’s letting his donation and the charity do the talking.

      Had BC done something similar during the run of Hamlet – that is walked the talk he was talking so loudly – people would have less ground to call him a hypocrite.

      • I don’t think it should matter – why do we care so much about the how and the where. The man has an opportunity after his show every night to take the stage and talk about something that is important to him. He has chosen to use that forum to try and motivate people. So the timing of it is wonky. Does it matter? Is a donation that arrives late or with a bunch of press for the donor attached going to somehow feed and clothe refugees in a lesser manner than the ones that are donated anonymously? No. So we can bitch and point fingers all we want about his motives, but the fact of the matter is, he did it, and is vocal about it, so WHO CARES….he’s helping

      • Fluff says:

        No. If Ben had announced he’d made a donation, he’d have been absolutely slammed for it. He’d be accused of only doing it for PR and of exploiting refugees to promote his image. Personally I’d be very surprised if he had not donated secretly. And these things do not “leak” they are intentionally announced. SBC intentionally announced his donation. I’ve seen a few things attacking SBC for announcing it – really the only reason he wasn’t slammed for is because he’s not really in the public eye much anymore.

    • Kate says:

      BC’s speech at the end of the NT Live Broadcast was incredibly short and fine, though. Don’t know about the non-recorded ones.

      The whole “he didn’t donate” stuff on this thread is pointless because celebs usually don’t announce donations.

      I’m with Fluff up there, mind you, Timothy is an awful person and it’s clear the whole point of this article is to tell the left to shut up.

      • TImothy suffers from that affliction that a lot of the old guard suffer from…he doesn’t appear to be aware of the fact that he is so egregiously out of touch with the struggles of modern life that when he says things like this, it makes him sound exactly like the out of touch, Tory son of privilege that is invariably is.Dude, the empire has crumbled…its time to let go of that classist crap. And I hasten to add here that I am an American expat, don’t vote in the UK (although I live here), and as such have no stake in the political game…this is all just observational.

  14. Honeychurch says:

    Charlotte Church has been doing some great work lately. It’s been interesting watching the tabloids trying to tear her down and her being able to dismantle their BS. It’s been beautiful to watch this year.

  15. Greenieweenie says:

    It takes a dim wit to imagine the business of politicking requires any intellect at all.

    (Written for entertainment only. I don’t talk like this irl).

    • Dara says:

      For entertainment purposes or not, I think your comment is spot on.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Couching my dry humor as its often mistaken for condescension! (although I do mean to condescend the occupation of a politician…just not those with an interest in politics)

  16. melior says:

    Calling BC dim-witted is a bit of a stretch isn’t it? And what’s with the swipe at public schools? What’s wrong with them?

    • spidey says:

      To a certain section of the British public, everything.

      • melior says:

        Are they seen as elitist or the opposite?

      • LAK says:

        Elitist. The often pilloried ones are Eton and Harrow.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Aren’t the politicians from much the same background? I don’t understand how you could maintain class stratifications to such a degree in British society if this weren’t the case. Is Britain like France, where you have a handful of grandes ecoles that channel you into a career in government?

    • lilacflowers says:

      In Britain, “public schools” are not the free schools that everyone can attend. “State” schools are what people in the US would consider the tax-supported free and open to all public schools. British “public schools” are a handful of old schools that are private and funded by tuition. Princes William and Harry went to a “public school.”

      • spidey says:

        Lilac there are a lot more public schools than you think. Check GPDST for instance.

      • Fluff says:

        Yes, and it’s confusing because we have state schools (free), private schools (fee-paying) and public schools (fee-paying, but in a category of their own). Most fee-paying schools in the UK are not public schools.

        If anyone is curious, they’re called public schools because they are very ancient (the oldest school in Britain opened in the 587 and has been continuously run as a school for nearly 1500 years) and were the first schools that members of the public could attend. Before that, there were only church schools and private tutors.

    • Fluff says:

      I hate public schools and all they stand for, but that’s really fricking rich coming from a Tory politician.

  17. Chantal says:

    George Clooney made many trips to Sudan. The charities that seem to appeal to BC are more socialite oriented, meeting royalties etc.. Unless is doing some work undercover which I doubt, as he is always in our face, working all the time. An actor or actress like anyone else is allowed to express their opinions whether we agree with it or not. They vote and pay their taxes. They can use their celebrity to promote wathever causes they want. It is up to the public to follow or not. Free will that is what democracy is all about it.

  18. seesittellsit says:

    Much as I loathe the Tories generally – second that.

    • Pondering thoughts says:

      Right to free speech.

    • J says:

      not just that, pondering thoughts, but this author is trash.

      like he may be in government but that doesn’t mean his opinions are informed since they’re clouded by racism and whatnot. pot calling kettle at best

  19. sauvage says:

    “Doing so would be good not just for my sanity but the standard of political debate in this country – which might at last reflect the full complexity of the problems we face, rather than whatever happens to come across the half-witted mind of a public school-educated actor.”

    – Elitist, much?

    • lilacflowers says:

      On one hand, yes, elitist, but on the other the public school educated ARE the elite in Great Britain as “public school” actually refers to the old, elite, private boarding schools like Harrow and Eton.

      • La La Land says:


      • sauvage says:

        So what he is saying, in a very twisted, hard-for-me-to-understand way, is that Benedict Cumberbatch has no right to criticise his government’s actions regarding the poorest and most-at-risk people, since he himself went to a good school and therefore hopefully got a decent education?

        Still a very elitist way of thinking, albeit now it makes even less sense to me, personally. Gee!

        Thank you for explaining it to me, lilayflowers. A Happy, Healthy New Year to you!

      • spidey says:

        Not all public schools at top notch like Eton and Harrow and they aren’t all boarding schools.

    • J says:

      something tells me this guy didn’t go to a crummy school lol he’s a tory and not a great one tbh

      there’s another ed by Birrell in the Mail about how celebs who visit Africa are just on massive ego trips. Something tells me they’re just trying to hit at left actors/actresses

      • sauvage says:

        That makes it sound like some commenters are lashing out because they don’t like their own ways to be criticised, huh?

    • spidey says:

      Many posting on here may not realise that, since Cameron became PM, in certain sections of the press, anyone who went to a top public school is the spawn of the devil.

  20. La La Land says:

    FINALLY an honest opinion. 🙂

  21. I have the exact opposite reaction to people who are celebrities espousing political opinions, and ESPECIALLY if they are British. As a Yank expat in the UK, I find that the Brits are even more disenfranchised with the political system than we are as Americans, if you could imagine such a thing. He is trying to get people to engage, and I find it refreshing that he is passionate about it; and at the end of the day, celebrities are tax paying citizens like the rest of us (although I’d be interested to see that Tory politician’s tax return), and as such are as entitled to an opinion on the matter as the drunk dude at the end of the bar in your local. If famous people choose to use their celebrity to try and advance a cause…especially one like refugee aid, so be it. At least they’re trying to give their celebrity purpose, which is more that a lot of (Kardashian) celebrities are doing these days.

    • spidey says:

      Under the UK’s PAYE system of tax collection at least “a Tory politician” has the tax on his parliamentary salary deducted at source.

  22. Lisa says:

    Of course it depends on who says it, right? Would this be your view if Eddie or Idris or Heaven forbid Tom say something like this? Ponder that honestly.